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Most SMEs expect to grow in next 12 months: Survey

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90% say they have business dealings abroad

Close to three-quarters of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) here expect to grow their businesses in the next 12 months, a survey has found.

In addition, about 90 per cent of respondents said they have business dealings abroad.

However, one in three SMEs said the lack of access to capital and cash flow limited their abilities to expand overseas.

The poll results were revealed at the launch of the new American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card yesterday.

The survey also found SME owners taking an average of 7.6 business trips a year, and 70 per cent have employees who travel at least twice a month.

The top destinations for SME employees were Malaysia (61 per cent), China (54 per cent), Thailand (35 per cent) and Indonesia (34 per cent).

The poll of 200 SME owners with company revenues between $1 million and $20 million was conducted by American Express and Singapore Airlines (SIA) in June.

"Our survey shows that Singapore SMEs are optimistic about growth, but cash flow and overseas expansion are ever-present concerns," said Mr Geoff Begg, Amex senior vice-president of global commercial services for Asia-Pacific.

The new card, which is the first business travel card in Singapore, will provide SME owners access to credit terms, greater savings and travel benefits to support their ambitions, Mr Begg added.

This partnership between SIA and Amex follows the airline's recent tie-ups in the financial sector. Mr Campbell Wilson, SIA's senior vice-president for sales and marketing, told The Straits Times that SIA's partnerships with the different firms have allowed it to reach Singaporeans across all segments of society.

Asked if SIA is looking to expand its range of partnerships further, he said: "I think in Singapore, we have a full suite of products now."

In April, KrisFlyer and United Overseas Bank (UOB) linked up to launch a new credit card that rewards users with air miles for their savings and spending.

It also announced an upgraded KrisFlyer UOB Savings account, which allows cardholders to earn more miles when they credit their monthly salary to the account.

In March, DBS Bank and SIA signed a memorandum of understanding to enable a seamless banking and travel customer experience for travellers by enhancing digital capabilities across platforms.